Peek at our Week: November 21-23

You’ll notice the shortened week. I’m sure quite a few of you take off the entire week and we have done that before. Recently on our off weeks we have been learning, just not with the intensity of study we do the rest of the weeks. I have collected all sorts of wonderful books, unit studies, and activities throughout the years so I’m finding ways to utilize them better. This was the perfect week to really delve into the lives of the pilgrims! There are some great resources we used. I’ll list the books here and some links if I can find them, but no affiliate marketing is contained within those links! Click on the pictures of the books to see where you can purchase them.

All week we listened to Adventures in Odyssey through the Odyssey Adventure Club app which were themed to Thanksgiving. This is such a great program that I listened to when I was a kid in the 80s and now my kids can enjoy it as I did! We are huge fans of this production and we absolutely LOVE being part of the Odyssey Adventure Club! If you want to give it a try they have a 2-week free trial offer.

Easy Make & Learn Projects: The Pilgrims, the Mayflower & MoreOne of my favorite places to find unique activities for elementary and middle school is Scholastic Teacher’s Express. I have purchased quite a few pdf books from them and use them frequently to supplement our regular curriculum or for units like this. This week we used this book. The girls made fold away Mayflower ships, maps of the Mayflower’s journey, and a comparison of old world and new world life. You’ll want to get on their mailing address because there are periodically $1 ebook sales. That is how I’ve amassed my collection from this company!

Here are some of the books we enjoyed during the week
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Magic Treehouse Research Guide: Pilgrims
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The Pilgrims of Plimoth
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Three Young Pilgrims
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Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast
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On the Mayflower
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…If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620

These  have all been given to us by friends, grandparents, and retired teachers. What a blessing it is when people give us goodies like these! I have several others, but this is what we used for this year.

We also used several wonderful resources that I pieced together to complete our unit of study!

Draw to Learn Psalms

While I read the girls worked on their project by coloring, cutting, or taping.

They loved the detailed coloring of their projects and Grace only needed a little help with the cutting.
  Learning in this creative way is so much fun. All three girls have studied the Pilgrims extensively through Heart of Dakota so much of what we talked about was review. Still, there were some new things the girls learned especially about how difficult the voyage really was, that surprised them. 

We had an enormous Thanksgiving feast with my parents and then decorated the tree. My girls are so sweet to pose for me! I couldn’t get a good picture in action because there was soooo much action with the decorating! So they very sweetly posed and giggled for my picture! 
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week and are excited as we head into this most joyous season of celebrating Christ’s birth!

Weekly Review: November 19-23

We took Thanksgiving week off from school, but we had too much fun not to share what we did!

My husband’s family came to stay with us at the end of the week. We had 13 extra people at one time or another! It was great to spend time with our family.

Even without school the girls still enjoyed learning! Beth and her cousin are identifying different birds and leaves they found in the back yard.

There was lots of game playing…

…and even some song writing!

My husband and his brother ran a marathon close to our house. They made their own course because they are both pastors and couldn’t find one to run in that wasn’t on a Sunday this fall! They were AMAZING!

For Matt, my brother-in-law, this was his second time running a marathon. He finished in under four hours!

This was my husband’s first and finished at just over four hours!

Both times are even more impressive when you factor in that both of these guys were battling colds and not at 100%. Way to go guys!

The kids really enjoyed cheering them on!

Dan the Animal Man came for a special service at our church. I wasn’t super excited about touching the alligator, but I did it anyway! We really learned some cool things about God’s creation from his presentation!

Check out his website for more information. He is from North Carolina, but travels all over the United States.

We celebrated Thanksgiving twice…and both times were delicious! We spent time with my parents and enjoyed my mom’s AMAZING cooking! I’m trying to convince her to start a recipe blog. She is such an awesome cook! The girls always love helping her too.

Here is Grace keeping an eye on the Turkeys for her.

On Thanksgiving Day we traveled to Maryland to be with my husband’s side of the family. This is the first whole family reunion that has happened since all of the grandkids got married and had kids of their own. We had 48 people for Thanksgiving dinner! And as you can see we’re just a tiny bit partial to the Washington Redskins. It was quite a treat to see them beat the Cowboys!

So that was our crazy-busy week off from school. I hope you all had equally exciting celebrations!

Weekly Review: November 12-16

First off…did you see my review of these great Bananagrams games? The giveaway I hosted is over, but you can still see what these games are like by reading the review.

Second of all…is a laminator on your Christmas wish-list? If so, check out my review of the Purple Cow Laminator from MyBinding.Com!
Lastly…come get a glimpse of a less than spectacular moment in our home. I’d love to tell you everything is all sunshine and roses around here, but let’s be honest…anyone who feeds you that line about their family isn’t being completely truthful. While being a stay-at-home-mom and homeschooling are both God-given callings and a true joy for me, there are a lot of moments which would be easy to ignore and pretend to everyone on the outside they didn’t happen. The beautiful thing about these moments is God usually teaches me through them. Some come on over to Vintage Womanhood. This is my creative outlet for sharing the things God is teaching me through my family, particularly being a mommy.  
And now on to our week in review…which I have to preface with the horrible news: The flash on my less-than-a-year-old camera sparked and exploded on our lovely trip to the zoo last week! I’ve been very frustrated not having my camera this week, but was grateful we saved our old one, even though it has some issues. I do have a few pictures though. Pardon all the red-eye. (I’m so spoiled with my new camera!)

So, without further ado…

Little Hands to Heaven: Week Off
Little Miss Grace has been working so hard at her lessons I decided she could use a little break this week. She was very good, much better than I expected really because she’s always crying about not having enough “work” during lesson time!

I changed her schedule up a bit and schooled my older girls separately so they got to have some one-on-one play-time with their little sister this week. That was a fabulous idea! At the end of the week family came for a visit so we had a houseful! This picture isn’t even everyone who is here either!

Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 14

Beth had a great week. She was so very focused and worked so very hard. She also played really well with her sister which all by itself made the week fabulous!

This week we studied several of Jesus’ parables. She enjoyed acting out the parable of the prodigal son with Little People. I tried something different with the Good Samaritan story. I knew she knew it, so instead of telling it to her I had her tell it to me. It was a really fun way to review something very familiar. My little girl is a storyteller too so it was incredibly entertaining!

She insisted on writing her spelling words using just one line on the notebook paper just like her big sister. I am amazed at how much her handwriting has improved in the last few months. She tries so hard and typically gets very frustrated when it isn’t he way she wants it to be! I really was surprised at how good his was!

She continues to excel in math and reading. I love how homeschooling allows her to work at her own pace!

Bigger Hearts for His Glory: Unit 15
If you follow my updates you may have noticed a weird jump from unit 12 last week to unit 15 this week. I have no explanation for this. I didn’t even realize I’d skipped two entire units until Thursday morning. I’m taking next week off and will be debating on whether I should go back or not. I may just hit some highlights because at this point I’d rather keep moving ahead!

I really like that Rose is able to complete her vocabulary mostly independently. She was frustrated with the dictionary when we first started using it, but now she has it figured out. She likes looking things up on her own. When she gets stuck she just asks me to help her find the page so she can still find the word. Using the vocabulary sheets I created really helps this a lot. Hopefully one day I’ll get that uploaded for your own use!

We also celebrated completing level 2 for All About Spelling!!!! I really love this program and can’t say enough good things about it! Way to go Grace! We start level 3 after Thanksgiving.

My girls completed their reading goals for the month of October and so we let them get their free Book-It pizza’s from Pizza Hut! I used this program when I was in grade school and I’m glad they include homeschoolers. The girls chose olives and mushrooms for their toppings and shared their free pizza with their little sister. Way to go Rose and Beth!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My Rose made this video when she was in kindergarten and I love watching it every year. Such a wonderful reminder from Scripture about thankfulness!